Published February 13, 2016
WASHINGTON— U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away this weekend of apaparent natural causes while on a hunting trip in Texas. The announcement of his death was made by the Texas governor’s office. Justice Scalia was 79.
He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.
Justice Scalia was a noted conservative who mostly voted against American Indian positions during his tenure on the Supreme Court.
“Although Justice Scalia’s passing is–like that of any Supreme Court Justice–sorrowful, Indian Country will not miss him at all. He is perhaps second to only Justice William Rehnquist as the most anti-Indian Justice in the history of the Supreme Court. No matter who succeeds him, Indian Country can fare no worse,” commented Gabriel S. Galanda of Galanda Broadman.
“On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement late Saturday afternoon. “He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family.”
Reports are Justice Scalia attended a dinner party on Friday night that was attended by 40 people. When he did not show up for breakfast, someone went to his room and discovered his body.
“This afternoon the President was informed of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz, who’s traveling with President Barack Obama in California. “The President and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to Justice Scalia’s family. We’ll have additional reaction from the President later today.”
Justice Scalia’s death leaves the nation’s highest court split evenly four to four of justices appointed by Democratic and Republican presidents.
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell was quick to say the U.S. Senate should not confirm a replacement for Justice Scalia.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”